Brebeuf Attends Ignation Family Teach-In

Shivam Bhargava, Guest Contributor

On November 4th through November 6th, a group of students from Brebeuf attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In, a social justice conference hosted by the Ignatian Solidarity Network in Washington, D.C. Many Jesuit high schools and colleges across the country come together in the context of social justice and solidarity to learn, reflect, pray, network, and advocate together. Now in its 20th year, the conference was created in order to honor the Jesuits and their martyrs in El Salvador in 1989.

One of the main parts of the conference is the three keynote speakers. The three keynote speakers for the conference this year were Fr. Bryan Massingale (a racial justice scholar), Sr. Patricia Chappell (Executive Director, Pax Christi USA), and Maria Stephan (Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace).

Another main part of the conference is the “breakout sessions.” The breakout sessions consisted of various speakers talking about issues that our society faces; each student was able to go to three different breakout sessions throughout the conference. These breakout sessions covered various issues, including immigration reform, the criminal justice system, environmental issues, human trafficking, the death penalty, and more. Shivam Bhargava ‘18 said, “The three different breakout sessions I went to were about human trafficking, the Black Lives Matter movement, and second generation immigrant discrimination. They were all extremely insightful, and I was able to learn a lot more about how these issues affect our own community. The main goal of the students who went on the Teach-In was to bring back some of the inspiration and change that they saw at the conference to Brebeuf.”

One of the topics that heavily affects Indiana is the lack of hate crime legislation. A hate crime law is defined as a legal statute that makes it a crime to use force to willfully interfere with any person because of race, color, gender identity, religion, national origin, etc. When a hate bias crime is committed, an entire community is affected. Nearly two-thirds of hoosiers, who have a Republican majority, are in favor of the legislation, which shows this is not a partisan issue. Many companies and conferences are refusing to come to Indiana until the legislation is passed. Indiana was ranked as the 13th state with the most active hate groups in 2016.

Many action steps can be taken by students at Brebeuf to help raise awareness about the issue of hate crime laws. These steps can include signing the petition that Emily Myers ‘18 has created in order to support hate crime legislation in Indiana. The link for the petition for anyone to sign is: tinyurl.com/indianahatecrime.

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